Sample Business Plans: Where You Can Go Wrong
Over-simplifying Your Plan
A plan should be simple, in the sense that it should be free of industry jargon and complicated wording. However, there are key questions that each section of the business plan must answer and over-simplifying what you write in any section is a mistake if the questions are no longer answered. A simple sample plan may or may not have been a successful business plan for an entrepreneur in the past. More likely, the plan was created by a business plan company and is meant to give a general idea of the content and structure of a completed plan. You may have to go deeper into detail in your own plan than the sample does.
Shoehorning Your Financials
If using an Excel template or model created for a sample plan, be sure that the model works equally well for your business as it does for the business it was created to serve. For example, if you must buy a location for your business it can be awkward to attempt to use a template focused on a business which rents its location. You may need to make extensive changes to the Excel sheet to make this work, at which point at would have made more sense for you to find or purchase a more appropriate sample plan to work off of. Another example is if you will have a product-focused business carrying inventory and the template you have is for a service business with no inventory. The balance sheet will be different for these different business types.
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